King of en bloc commercial property

$400m RECORD: The sale of Serangoon Plaza set a record for commercial property at $1,946 per sq ft of maximum floor area.


    Nov 04, 2013

    King of en bloc commercial property

    SERANGOON Plaza is better known as the home of the other Mustafa store, beside the well-known retailer's 24-hour flagship in Mustafa Center.

    But the five-storey freehold building at 320 Serangoon Road will now go down in the books for another reason: as the most expensive commercial property to be sold en bloc in Singapore.

    The development has been sold to its majority owner in a deal that values the office and retail complex at $400 million.

    Feature Development, an associate of the Tong Eng group, already owns 90 per cent of the strata units. It will buy over the others, which are currently held by more than 10 other owners.

    The sale was brokered by Savills Singapore, which had set an indicative price of $360 million to $368 million.

    Feature Development withdrew from the sales committee to take part in the tender process at arm's length, said Savills Singapore's director of investment sales, Ms Suzie Mok.

    "Commercial property is currently the most vibrant (real-estate) segment here, so Feature had to put in a strong bid," she said. "It was a clear-cut winner in terms of price, terms, and fulfilling all the tender conditions."

    The tender closed on Thursday with Feature's offer, which works out to $1,946 per sq ft of maximum floor area, tops.

    The company bought into the building in 1985. It is related to Tong Eng, the developer of several residential projects here, including Poshgrove East in East Coast Road and Three Balmoral in Balmoral Road.

    Built in the mid-1960s as President Shopping Centre, Serangoon Plaza comprises 128 strata retail and office units. All the unit owners agreed to the building's sale, which means the deal will not need the Strata Titles Board's approval.

    The buyer will not have to pay a development charge to redevelop the property, as the current building is under-utilising its space allowance.

    Serangoon Plaza sits on a 68,521 sq ft plot that can host a building with 205,563 sq ft of floor space. The complex's floor area now is only 104,765 sq ft.

    The property's sale also marks one of the largest en bloc deals in recent years. It is likely the biggest collective sale since Westwood Apartments was sold for $435 million in November 2007.

    The transaction caps a good year for collective sales of non-residential property. At least four other commercial and industrial buildings have been sold en bloc since January.

    They are: San Centre in Chin Swee Road, Bright Chambers in Bugis, and Henley Industrial Building and Pak Chong Building off Upper Paya Lebar Road.